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Goals of a forsaken war



Defining Moment

Goals of a forsaken war

Victorious Failure

Point of View

The process of Vietnamization, the My Lai Massacre, and the Invasion of Cambodia all had various goals and objectives. The process of Vietnamization involved encouragement the South Vietnamese to take more responsibility for fighting the war. It was hoped that this process would eventually    enable the United States to withdraw gradually all their soldiers from Vietnam. To increase the size of the South Vietnamese army the US imposed a mobilization law, which called up into the army all men in South Vietnam aged between seventeen and forty-three. But after US troops slowly began to leave South Vietnam Nixon’s advisors told him that if the US began to leave Vietnam they would suffer a humiliating defeat to the NLF. So the only way that the US could see out of this situation was to begin peace talks, and these continued for quiet a while. So in a sense I guess one could say the goals of Vietnamization were not met and that the US failed in fulfilling the goals they set when they thought up this plan. But, this was an important event due to the fact that it helped lead to the end of the Vietnam War.

  Secondly, it is unclear if the US even found any NLF members in the My Lai Massacre, which was an attempt to root out hidden NLF member from a small village. This scourge of NLF members turned into a blood bath quickly, due to frustration suffered by the US soldiers attempting to find the NLF members. This was also a huge failure for the US army. Not only did they fail to locate any significant member of the NLF, but they also suffered humungous blows in the PR department of the war. The US looked like a monstrous hypocrite in front of the entire world, due to the events of My Lai. Lastly, the Invasion of Cambodia or the Cambodian Incursion was a military campaign that involved very limited set goals. This incursion occurred in 1970 and was officially known as the Sanctuary Counteroffensive. This incursion lasted from operations took place from May 1 to June 29 and these dates were partly covered by a 75 day South Vietnamese incursion which lasted from April 29 to July 22. Many Air raids were secretly carried out to destroy NLF bases, but these failed for on May 1 Nixon decided to send in ground troops to finish off the job. The US invasion on in sighted nationalist feelings within both Cambodia and Laos, this led to hostilities against US soldiers that were serving in Cambodia and Laos.

  The Cambodian communist movement, the Khmer Rouge, had received little support from the peasants before the United States invasion. Now they were in a position to appeal to their nationalist sentiments and claimed that Cambodia was about to be taken over by the United States. During 1970 and 1971, membership of the Khmer Rouge grew rapidly. In some ways this could be considered a success, due to the fact that they were able to destroy NLF bases, but in doing so they strengthen the communist movements in each of these countries to a level which was never previously imagined. 



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